2010 Jamis Parker, 2005 Jamis Komodo, 1998 Jamis Komodo, 198? Raleigh Pointe, 1978 Schwinn Super Le Tour 12.2
Conti Mountain King 2.4 (further studies)
Since I put the Komodo on a diet, I have been rollin on the Continental Mountain King 2.4 Supersonic's. I had been running 2.35 Kenda Excavators and 2.35/2.5/2.7 Nevegals. I'll be doing a comparison to the Excavator and Nevegal.
I am a little perplexed by this tire. From Conti:
Mountain King Supersonic: 3 plies/ 180tpi/ foldable/ Black Chili Compound 530g
My main reason in trying the Conti's over my Nev rear / Excav Front setup was to make the bike pedal a bit better. At 530g, I would lose nearly a pound of rotating weight with the same size casing which should be very noticeable.
I'm not quite as impressed with the MtnKings as I had hoped. They have less physical mass than a Nev or Excav. but they do have a bit of rolling resistance on hardpack. Definitely noticeable on pavement riding to the trail.
A characteristic that really turned me off with this was knob flex. Where I really noticed the knob flex was on off-camber type stuff. Roots across the trail, slanted corners, etc...the tires seem to wanna wander and not stay completely planted. Even on normal camber corners, the bike feels like it wants to "drift" a bit. They're not quite as confidence inspiring as my old setup...especially compared to a Frt/Rr Excavator setup. The Mountain Kings drift predictably...but I'd rather they just "stick".
They climb fairly well, but the Excavator kicks it butt in raw traction at the penalty of weight. (the heaviest of the 3 tires) I find myself slipping a wheel now and then with the Conti's where I wouldn't have with an Excavator.
One thing that really, really perplexed me was how squirrely the Mountain Kings felt when slightly under-inflated. It's like the "wandering" and "drifting" was exaggerated. I could feel a definite difference between 35 and 38psi. I thought maybe this could have been attributed to the tpi being low and the rubber count being high giving it a "boingy'ness", but when you look at the numbers, the Continentals have the highest thread count of them all. Maybe it's the durometer, but I never felt unstable on the softer "Stick-E" Kendas. When I was running the Kendas, I would alter my tire pressure to my terrain, whether I wanted more grip / more compliance over stutter bumps / or more pressure for more aggressive gnarly terrain so I don't pinch-out. I always feel confident and glued to the trail with the Nevegals and Excavators. The Conti's seem way too squirrely when dropped down to 34-35psi. Heck man...there are days when I only run 32psi on my rigid SS with 2.1" Kenda Smallblock 8's...but they always feel stable.
The Supersonics are "hand made in Germany"...I don't know if this means that they hired a bunch of old German engineers to chew 20pks of Juicy Fruit a day and hand mold them into the finely tuned wheel-wrap, but they are pretty precise. I've noticed in the past some tires will look like they're not fully seated b/c the tread seems to wander a bit. (Panaracer Fire's are bad about this) The German-made Conti's are dead on. They look like they're CNC'd from the trunk of a rubber tree.
Finally...tread wear. Continental takes the cake BIG TIME here. Granted...lately I've been spending less time on this bike than the SS, but I've been out between 1/2 dozen to a "baker's dozen" times on it and the little casting nipples are still on there!!! Will these tires ever wear out? I can't seem to get them to look used at all! WOW!
Over all...so far...I'm pretty impressed with the wear, casing size, and precision. I will probably not be ordering another set if I can ever get these to wear out. I'll most likely go back to a Kenda Nevegal 2.35" DTC rear and Excavator 2.35 DTC front. They are much more conifdence inspiring in corners and climbs...to the point where the saved weight of the MtnKing is a non-issue.